tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 4, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
"hardball" starts right now. >> democrats get a booster shot. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in charlotte. let me start with a promise of this democratic convention opening here. i am overwhelmed personally by the huge welcome at msnbc that we've received here, all of us, this team of us has gotten the warmest embrace ever.
like a family reunion down here. this audience around me is a family portrait of america. nothing segregated here, nothing cut off. there's unity in the air here and that's the big question that we, can president obama reignite the sense of national unity, do it in spirit, open with a gusto capable of roaring through the first tuesday after the first monday in november? if he can it will be the spirit of charlotte the country will give the credit. with me former new mexico governor and u.n. ambassador bill richardson. thank you. >> back in 2004, barack obama's inspirational speech inspired a country as he spoke about unifying the red states and blue states. let's watch. >> there is not a liberal america and a conservative america. there is the united states of america. there is not a black america and a white america. and latino america and asian america.
there's the united states of america. the pundits, the pundits like to slice our country into red states and blue states, red states for republicans, blue states for democrats, but i've got news for them too. we worship an awesome god in the blue states and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the red states. we coach little league in the blue states and yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states. there are patriots who oppose the war in iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in iraq. we are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the united states of america. >> wow. you know, governor, i'll call you bill, known you forever, i was with a crowd, african-american crowd in a tough neighborhood north philly before the election in 2008, it's a tough crowd, tough neighborhood.
they needed a lot of things they aren't getting there, all right. a lot of poverty. the biggest applause line from candidate obama, i'm going to bring this country together. that's what people got teary eyed over. i hear it here, feel it here, it's still what the country wants. they don't want to be minorities against majorities, straight against black, they want a united country. can this president still do it? >> he can still do it. he's going to do it. what you're seeing now again is that coalition coming together. brian and i are from the west. the president virtually won most of the western states. he won new mexico, he won colorado, nevada, to win the re-election he has to do that again. i think most portly, what he's going -- importantly what he's going to be conveying in the next day and the first lady, is that we are one people, that we are a party of the middle class worker, that we want to bring people together, that let's end this partisanship in washington, and let's find a way that we all
bring together, the unity that this country deserves. >> we're watching the formal proceedings begin there, the chair of the party, the formalities in the background there. the same question to you, governor, a state called by the pundits a red state, you're a blue guy, you're a democrat, your party affiliation, how do you unite? >> in montana you say you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink. mitch mcconnell, you can take him to the trough offer him any water you want and he's going to say no. that's what president obama's been faced with. on the very first day in office, the republicans said the way we beat this guy in re-election is we say to america, we're not going to work with him, we're not going to do anything, we want to shut this country down and they have. they have. and it's -- look, it's time, it's time that we hold these leaders in congress accountable. they are the ones who have said
no. we don't want to move this country forward. we just want to stop barack obama. and that's wrong. >> let me ask you about this whole question of division. now, there are on the other side, i think ads which appeal to division. all this talk about welfare and getting your checks without work, which is a tellsly dishonest -- totally dishonest ad. is code. i don't want to push that any further. i think everybody knows what i'm talking about and agrees to me. how do you respond to that without making it worse. how does the president say i'm african-american, i have an interesting background, but i'm not going to fight this fight on the racial basis, not going to play that game, trick me into that. that's your game. how do you do it? once it starts on one side? >> i think what the president is doing, chris, is moving forward, saying that we're all in this together. i'm going to take my community, the hispanic community, and all hispanics want is we want the american dream.
we don't want extra treatment. what we want is a fair immigration bill, we want the spanish kids to go to college and move towards legalization. what we want is just what every american wants. we want jobs, we want education. and i think what this president is saying, is everybody in america will have this opportunity. >> we've overcome racism in this country before. we have continued to move forward. the irish people came here, they said help wanted. jews and irish need not apply. you know that. and we moved forward and elected an irish catholic president. that was a big deal in 1960. you know about this. it was a big deal. this was a big deal when we elected a black person as president of the united states. not just for the united states, but for the entire world. because it is a symbol that we're moving forward. and we're not going back. we are not going back. we are a united country. we are a rich quilt of colors in
this country. that's what's made us the most innovative, the most future loving people in the history of the world. and we're not going back with all of this race baiting. >> let's take a look. here's an interview with the colorado cbs affiliate president obama gave himself a grade of inxlaets, a good answer in these times that are difficult. let's listen to the president. >> your party says you inherited a bad situation. you've had three and a half years to fix it. what grade would you give yourself so far for doing that? >> you know, i would say incomplete, but what i would say is, the steps that we've taken in saving the auto industry, making sure that college is more affordable, in investing in clean energy and science and technology and research, those are all the things that we're going to need to grow over the long term. >> what do you make of that, gentlemen? my reaction i thought the white house people were a little tongue tied because my answer is simple, would you rather be in 2012 or 2009?
2009, the stock market was going through the floor. unemployment was going through the roof. we were at the edge of a cliff. we're back from that cliff, unemployment coming down, the stock market has doubled. gm comes back alive. we thought the auto industry was dead. it's back alive like gang busters, caught the bad guy and killed him. if bush had done that he would still be in the end zone doing hot dogs, right? these guys don't know how to brag. your thought? >> look, what he said was incomplete because we're going to need four more years to finish this job. we have come a long ways. do you remember what it felt like in september 15th of 2008 when we opened the newspapers and saw that lehman brothers had just gone upside down and banks all over america, all over the world, didn't know what was coming next. we were an american people that didn't know whether we were in 1929 or 2008. and it was this president, who led us out of the great recession. so i would say, it's incomplete, because we got more to do.
>> i think mr. axelrod and plouffe should spend evenings with you, sir. just a thought. >> mr. richardson? >> internationally, if the election were held around the world, the international community would want president obama back. he ended the war in iraq. he's ending the war in afghanistan. we've got free trade agreements all over the hemisphere. we've got a nuclear agreement with the russians. we've got al qaeda down. we've got bin laden. this president internationally has restored america's prestige abroad, human rights, democracy. this president deserves re-election for being a superior foreign policy president. >> you're the expert. you are the expert. i've never heard it put so well. we had mccain on the other night, watching him in tampa, he says we're on six war fronts. six wars he wants us fighting in libya, syria, iraq, afghanistan,
wants us going to war with the russians again. he's unbelievable. china. >> chris, these republicans are amazing because they said that during the recovery act, to help states pay teachers, pay firefighters, pay medicaid workers, government jobs don't matter. and now, you've got mccain and lindsey graham traveling the country saying, government jobs in the military and industrial complex matter. well, where is the equal discussion about what matters in government? if we're taking care of people and educating children and moving forward, those don't count? building bombs are the ones that count? >> i don't know what to say. i think you're a very powerful guest, sir. governor schweitzer. you got your boots on look at the cowboy boots on this guy. anyway, thank you. >> these boots are by eddie rendell. he saw me in the airport and said you got to get them shined up. he paid for these boots to get shined.
>> he's going to give orders. thank you governor schweitzer and bill richardson. thank you. coming up live from charlotte, the press gushed when paul ryan was a serious politician, even a truth teller. things have changed. last week especially. since that convention she's been trying to he -- he's been trying to defend himself. can his reputation survive? this eagle scout keeps losing merit badges. democrats are hoping michele obama will fire up the base. she'll be joined by julien castro the first hispanic american to give a keynote speech at a democratic convention. can they energize key groups, african-americans, hispanics, latinos and young people. they're coming to sit here in the rain. also virginia looms as one of the most important states this fall. both for president obama's re-election and the senate. who's going to control it. former governor tim kaine coming right here. he's the great hope of the
democrats in that state. he'll be here later. let me finish with michele obama and the effect her words could have at this convention. this is "hardball," the place for politics. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪
whatever i say here today, it's going to be, at best, a distant second to the speech you will hear tonight from the star of the obama family, michele obama. >> welcome back to "hardball." that's president obama today teeing up the premier speaker tonight michele obama at the convention here in charlotte. the first lady previewed her speech on the joe madison speech on radio earlier today. let's listen to what she said to joe. >> i'm going to remind people about the values that drive my husband to do what he has done and what he's going to do for
the next four years. you know, i'm going to take folks back to the man that he was before he was president because the truth is, that he has grown so much, but in terms of his core values and character, that has not been changed at all. >> well, tonight's lineup with michele obama's headliner and julien castro, the hispanic mayor of san tope yo, texas, the keynote will spotlight the democratic coalition, the one he need s engaged if he's going to win the election. latest nbc news/wall street journal has mitt romn[ inaudibl don't know where the 6% went. among women, the president leads mitt romney by ten point. among voters under 35, obama leads by 11. this week obama needs to make sure they're fired up and ready to vote. anyway, joining me now, is u.s. congressman elijah cummings,
he's from maryland, great guy and representative. we have the united states senator amy, who's harder to get on this show but glad she's here. thank you so much. you know, i feel like the odd man out here. older white guys the only people that aren't voting for obama. what's going on here? congressman, you represent all kinds of people in maryland. >> that's right. >> what's going on in this division and what can the president do to keep his part of the american electorate and gain some more from the other side? >> i think the president needs to talk about what he's already done. and tell us about -- remind us of the journey we've been on. you talk about it all the time, chris. what a difficult situation he started with. then i think he needs to give us a bridge to the future and talk about the fact that he -- i know this for a fact -- he works every day and thinks every day about how he can improve the lives of americans and he's in touch, trying to protect the middle class, trying to expand the middle class and address those issues that affect people every day.
as far as women are concerned he has a phenomenal record and i know the senator feels the same way. >> what's going on on the republican side, you're the politician, i'm watching it, it's clear what they're trying to do. they're going after married women who have husbands who make a lot of money. they basically are saying defend your husband's tax bracket. the candidate's wife saying it, it's all fair game, but their game is saying protect your interests. if you have money you don't want to pay taxes. that seems to be what they're doing on the other side. >> i spent the last ten days at the minnesota state fair standing in front of bob snake zoo where my booth is located with lines of people talking to them and i will tell you the american women are in tune to what's going on. they look at the pocketbook issues, not just the macro issues but the macaroni and cheese issues and saying things like that if you are going to actually add tax cuts to people making over a million dollars a year, that they're going to get an average of $250,000 more in tax cuts i want to bring the debt down. we have to do it in a reasonable way but that doesn't make sense.
so i think the american women are going to be making their own decisions in this election and you can see how strong they are. i've been standing in that booth to be sensible, pragmatic and looking out for their families and that means re-electing barack obama and joe biden. >> just to stay on women for a minute. have you read the republican platform? how zany it is? >> they are. >> it's one thing to be pro life, a lot of americans are pro life, decent position to take. i can disagree with how the law should be used. but when you try to get 14th amendment rights of personhood to the fertilized human egg, rights of liberty and property, you get into crazy land it seems to me. what is that all about? are you attorneys, both of you? >> i am. >> what does that mean legally? >> basically what it means is an embryo, if you do any harm to an embryo that's murder. that's what it's boiling down to. i think we are dealing with the
far far right. >> they wrote the platform, sir. >> ryan is a big part of that, as you well know. >> i know. >> i think they have gone to a point -- keep in mind, we had sandra fluke before our committee and when we had her -- >> the georgetown undergraduate -- >> who wanted to testify about contraception. chairman issa, of our committee, republican, refused to let her testify saying that she was not qualified to testify with regard to contraception. give me a break. and if you'll recall, rush limbaugh beat her up and again romney, said nothing about that basically. and while at the same time the president gave her a call. my point is, is that this president has been very sensitive to these issues. women knows he stands on the side of the pocketbook issues. a lot don't realize that pocketbook is significant. the tax cut issue, giving tax cuts to the rich and taking from the middle class, affects a lot of women in my district, single
women head of households trying to make it. >> how do you get -- you have to raise money, raise money, sir, let's be practical as democrats. it seems to me, this isn't a partisan assessment, happens to be a fact, a lot of people with a lot of money, some who are democrats, give to the democratic party out of values. they're paying for political party that's going to raise their taxes, right? >> a lot -- >> how do you do -- should you avoid the rhetoric of populism when it says screw wall street, these guys are a bunch of pigs? how do you avoid that and win over the voters that care about inequality? >> i have a stroj business community in my state like they have here in north carolina and it's incredibly important for our state. it's one of the reasons that our state's unemployment rate is about more than two points better than the national average. when i talk to business people, they want to see consistency and they want to see move forward on bringing the debt down in a balanced way. not do something that's going to put us over the cliff. they like to see the corporate tax rate go down.
the president said he wants to see that corporate tax rate go down. the way we do it closing loopholes, adding things like the oil -- ending oil subsidies, doing things that will bring us there in a balanced way. not on the backs of the middle class and senior citizens. >> it's interesting, congressman, the republican advertisers when they point to good times don't point to "w." they don't point to senior bush or reagan. they point to clinton. >> that's right. >> isn't that interesting? >> because clinton did it right. i think another one who's sensitive to what was going on with regard to women, again, he created some 21 million jobs doing his eight-year tenure. he was doing it right. it will be interesting to see when he comes before our convention, when he begins to talk about some of those issues and support the president, what they have to say again, they put them in their commercials saying what a great president he is, and now he's going to come along and say this is a guy for us. >> he's going to be detailed
apparently about economic policy, not just general b.s. take a look at ann romney. she made the case for her husband talking about what he hears on the trail. let's listen to mrs. romney. >> i'm hearing from so many women that may not have considered voting for a republican before, that said it's time for the grownup to come, the man that's going to have -- that's going to take this very seriously and take the future of our children very, very seriously. >> the grownup? >> i can tell you one thing -- >> what do you think of that when you heard that? >> i can't -- i'm not going to comment on that. i will comment on this, barack obama's the one who has been for planned parenthood. a lot of the women in my district, the only way they get health care is through planned parenthood. romney is against it and ryan. they want to abolish it. that's just one thing. >> and i think you have to remember --
>> planned parenthood is more -- >> what's the point here? >> if you look, the president has shown a steady hand. the president is the one that gave the order to go after osama bin laden, night that's a grownup thing to do. the president inherited an economy where the first month that he got in, we were shutting more -- shedding more jobs than people in the state of vermont. we're adding private sector jobs. he has had a difficult, as we once said, portfolio he had inherited and taken it on. >> it's an odd shot. >> i don't know what it is but i can tell you one thing, keep in mind the first thing this president did the first bill he signed was lilly ledbetter, which was equal pay for women when they asked romney how he felt about it, they didn't even know. so i mean, i think that -- i know the president is the grownup and i don't know what she's talking about. >> i don't know. i think it's awful because i think when you watch the president, air been with him -- you've been with him. >> many times. >> the man taking the burden on his shoulders and carrying it right.
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>> he said he was -- he gave himself a grade tout, an incomplete. >> i think he's done wonderfully. give him four more years. >> incomplete his score? >> no. >> hi. >> i'm 53 and if ryan/romney or romney/ryan, which ever way we want to say it, get elected, i get the shaft. >> you want to be particular, what's he going to do to you? >> i got a thought, i'm going to be out in the private sector trying to get insurance that will not insure an individual say 65 years or older, with an issue. with a health issue. >> preexisting condition. >> that's what it's about. >> thanks for getting to the issues today. >> health care, medicare. that's what we need right now, because the children who don't have insurance, what happens when they go to the er. thank you. there's babies standing in there, late at night, who can't get health care because there's nobody to help them. >> i've been to ers. they're not like in the movies. you have to sit there. >> yeah. sit there all night.
>> i just don't want them to make this a racial -- >> who's this with you? >> this is judy. >> favorite fan. >> you look like you're in love. >> hands off the middle class and elders. >> okay. >> you're in love. look at this close up on these hands. this is a good marriage there. i'll tell you. >> what do you think of all this excitement in charlotte? >> four more years. >> what do you think? >> obama's just a gad man. he's a good man. >> how about you? >> i love charlotte. i think i want to leave michigan. >> i love this city. >> i love this. obama needs four more years and he'll finish what he started. >> okay. >> go charlotte. >> we love obama care, we love social security the way it is. we want to keep medicare and medicaid. >> i think you got all the answers there. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars
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i'm julia boarstin with your market wrap. the dow closes off its lows, down 55 points. the s&p 500 falls 1.5. the nasdaq gains 8 points. facebook shares hit an all time slow of $17.58 earlier today. that's off more than 50% since its may ipo at $38 a share. apple shares got a boost. the company issued a press invite for an event on september 12th. widely expected that the new iphone 5 will be unveiled. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." so many watching paul ryan's
often truth challenged convention speech last week in tampa the highlight or perhaps low light of his many factual inconsistencies was the implication that president obama was to blame for the closing of a gm plant in ryan's hometown of janesville. the idea was absurd since the plant closed in december of 2008 before obama took the oath of office. since ryan's speech the press has hammered ryan over the sheer volume of his factually unsound statements. it's that gm plant that's gotten the most attention. ryan fired back, i guess you could say that, on the "today" show this morning. >> what they're trying to suggest is that i said that barack obama was responsible for our plant shutdown in janesville. that's not what i was saying. read the speech. what i was saying is that the president ought to be held to account for his broken promises. after our plant was shut down he said he would lead an effort to retool plants like the janesville plant to get people back to work. it's still idle. my point was not to lay blame on the plant shutdown.
this is yet another example of the president's broken promises. >> okay. we all watched that speech of ryan's and heard what ryan said. it's incredible what he's saying now, congressman, he never said what it seemed like he said. >> paul is a good catholic and you have to remember what sisters of notre dame would teach us, oh the evil webb we weave when first we practice to deceive. >> is that in the bible? i don't think so. >> but the sisters recited it pretty well. and i think that that's it. when you make a statement from your political party that fact checking doesn't matter. >> yeah. >> well, that's created a whole lot of new jobs for people who are -- want to hear the facts and be the proof. the other thing, chris, this becomes personal. people are now taking a look at guy who proposed to privatize social security and taking a look at the guy who wanted to privatize medicare, they're looking at, you know, getting rid of the guarantee and what it
means to them and the medicaid cuts and what that means to the very least amongst us, mostly the frail, elderly and disabled. speaking the truth. >> so does it spill over into more serious topics, the big issues that affect people here when a guy gives something that doesn't seem to be the truth? >> i think one of the paramount strategic imperatives for any politician is to control their public image. paul ryan came into this race with a reputation for policy wonkiness, candor, honesty. >> candor. >> those were things he wore proudly as his image. in the space of just 24 hours last week, he went, now like the posterboy for hypocrisy and hyperbole and whether all the charges are fair or not, when you lose control of your public image in that way, you suddenly become -- the vultures start to circle and look as the congressman said in a careful way at everything you've said or done in the past and you find
there's small things that get blown up to be too big, big things blown up bigger, it's a snowball rolling downhill and you suddenly start to realize why being vice president isn't necessarily the best job in the world or running mate. >> and running the campaign, the warner wolf threat, let's go to the tapes. go to the tapes, hear what he said before. here's a brand new cnn poll out today, right now in fact, shows virtually no bounce for mitt romney after the republican convention. look at that after. not much happening there, congressman. not much happening at all. >> no. there's not. and i think it's in part not only because of their convention last week that was flat i think by everyone's estimation. >> that's what chris christie said. >> you're right. that's a good source of this case. but also because of what they didn't say. what they didn't say, they have become the party of change and hope, they changed their positions every day and they
hope you don't notice it, and so we're -- >> okay. >> so we have to make sure that we remind them of the truth and we've got people who are fired up and ready to go. >> here's joe biden. here's joe biden. he's taken ryan to task over a number of facts and discrepancies in the speech last week. here was the vice president speaking at an rally in new york. >> much of what they told you at your convention simply what they say in my old nabld neighborhood, not on the level. you heard congressman ryan on wednesday blame the plant closing in janesville in his hometown on president obama. let's take a look at the facts. what he didn't tell you was the plant in janesville actually closed on president bush's watch. while he was president. before the sacrifices you made, uaw members made, before those sacrifices and the courage of
the president, but for that, all the gm plants would have been closed. >> so how do you think this bate is going to be coming up next month, a debate between that guy and ryan the guy he's taking shots at? >> you know, i have a cover story in the "new york" magazine about biden. i spent a lot of time with him in the last month. he is fired up and ready to go for this debate. and i think, you know, people forget that joe biden, you know, no one is going to nominate joe biden to be the chairman of men sa. he's not albert einstein, but what he's always been a master of is applied intelligence. he goes to school, back in 1988 when he had to take on robert bork, bourque was nominated to be chairman of the supreme court, supposedly one of the smartest guys in all of history of conservatism, bourque went off with all the legal liberal scholars learned his brief and came in and took bob bourque down and you can't -- he knows how to do these things that combine factual accuracy with
human empathy, with performance skills. there's not very many debates joe biden has lost in his career. in the senate or against sarah palin last time which was a high stakes endeavor. >> you know what, politics are risky. this guy got elected to city council in his mid 20s, united states senate 29 before it's legal to take the office, re-elected from 29 to late 60s, 40 some years of unfee feeted -- undefeated politics, never lost an election and people like you keep talking about how slight he is intellectually. the guy who says he's not so smart, is the guy who never loses an election. just a thought. maybe you're right. >> i'm just -- i didn't say slight. i didn't say slight. i just said he's not albert einstein. albert einstein is a high bar. >> none of us are. >> greatest things in politics is to be underestimated. >> ronald reagan was always underestimated. >> that's true. >> ronald reagan also said facts are a stubborn thing and joe
biden is going to take mr. ryan to task on the facts. and he can connect with people as good as anybody that there is. and i thank him from his line the other day, you know. >> over the weekend the press called rhine out on another factually inaccurate mistake he made, this having to do with a runner. mr. ryan claimed to have finished a marathon under three hours, extraordinary feat, which turns out to be far from the truth. here's what the candidate told hugh hue with, an ally, by the way, last month. >> you did run marathons at some point? >> yeah. i can't do it anymore. >> what's your personal best? >> under three, i think high twos, two hours and 50 something. >> holy smokes. you go down to miami university -- >> when i was younger, yeah. >> people tell me that is one hell of a time and apparently one hell of a time and apparently not accurate. john? >> i will say that i am about as -- i'm about as likely to run
a marathon as i am to go to the moon. drop dead if i got halfway through. there's no one i know who's run a marathon from my wife to -- all my friends, i have a lot of friends, the ones who have, they will remember their marathon time until the day they die down to the second. and they look at this and they -- lot of people think this is not a big deal. lot of people think it's not a big deal. no one who has run a marathon who doesn't think this is a big deal. it's like your sat scores. you remember them until the day you die. no one misstates it, that goes from being like 1200 to 1600. nobody gets that wrong. it raises -- it's one of those little tiny things that might illuminate something about character. >> can you beat down the assessment there? >> no. that's -- someone who would take a calendar to time my marathon, you got to be very -- >> let's get to the politics. >> be very careful. >> let's get to the politics. >> credibility like you said that john mentioned off the bat. >> how many times can you be
dishonest, obviously dishonest and people say you might be right this time? >> you know, i think it is credibility and as john says, paul, who i came into congress with, who his reputation, his stock in trade was taking that bold position and always being very clear on it and always being willing to take the tough stance, now he's got to run from those positions and to say, to say at the convention and look straight into the camera and talk about how they are going to preserve social security and medicare and care about the least amongst us, please. >> thank you. u.s. congressman john larson of connecticut, and john -- the great john heilemann, the game changer. up next one of the hottest races in the country this year. former virginia governor, former dnc chairman tim kaine will be right here. talking about the hottest senate race around and how important that state is. president obama, think he needs virginia and that's next. this is "hardball," the place for politics. you know why i sell tools? tools are uncomplicated.
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guys, david to my immediate right and far ride howard. i want them to look at this brand new number we got a minute ago. it's the latest bounce number for what it is. cnn, looking at the number, reliable number, 48 all right now. the presidential candidates 48 dead even. had been obama 49/47 before the republican convention. howard score the balance. >> minimal. not surprising in a divided electorate. i said there wouldn't be a big bounce out of this. the republicans didn't do anything out of the convention to change anybody's expectations. this is a tied popularity contest still with the president ahead in the electoral college. that's where it was before -- >> i've never seen anything like this ever. >> 4%. >> how can you get a bounce when there's only four points to play with. >> little play when playing between the 48 yard lines and particularly you're talking about 4%, not across the country now -- >> four or five, six states. >> national poll, where is that
percentage? >> where is that percentage? who knows. but right now, you're talking, each campaign has to target about 4% and a small number of states. so we're really going microscopically picking up voters dozen here or dozen there. >> it's not just states. this is a different election. this slivers of demographics in those states. it is not just the states. not just the -- how the classic white suburban -- housewife, middle class from ohio. bits of the hispanic community undecided. you know, bits and pieces of demographics all over. and in anna of micro targeting which is what the campaigns do now through social media and internet they pick out voters almost one by one. there's no mass targeting anymore. that's the kind of election this is going to be. >> let's talk about -- >> piece by piece. vote by vote. >> fine-tuning, reasonable person. to all elections to me are questioned yes or no. you like the way this is going pretty much? >> yeah.
>> would you prefer to get rid of and it try something totally different? yes or no? i think there is a yes and there's a -- but not a cheerful -- this is going to be -- not in a lock. then there are people had a say no. who are the people that say yes but not quite enough to say why? who are those people? >> i don't think this is a binary election, conventional sense. you know, obama, you asked the question -- are you better off now than four years ago? >> better off than three years ago. >> the answer is yes but. with romney, he's the yes but candidate on almost every front. people like the idea of a businessman, like the idea of romney, but they don't like romney much. whatever the vote is, 4%, they are not going to have a clearance. they are not going to be happy about the vote going in. that makes it very hard. >> somebody said the other night bottom between the guy that understands your problems but hasn't been able to fix them yet. a guy who -- doesn't understand your problems and -- but might able to fix them. >> might be able to. >> most of those undecided
voters, not all of them, most of them, ones i talked to, voted for the president in 2008. not all of them. but most of them. >> i bet that's right. >> they voted the president. they are hanging back. people that are minority communities hanging back. i talked to jesse jackson yesterday. you had him on the show. he said the percentage will be the same among the african-american community but the turnout might not be the same. same with hispanic community and lot of other places. if the president could get anywhere near the shape of the electorate he had four years ago he will eke out the victory. but that's who the people are. there's no one description of that. there's no one description of him. just as the democratic party is a very diverse party. >> virginia, tim russert used to talk about florida, florida, florida. he was right. he nailed that. ohio, ohio, ohio. nailed again in 2004. he wasn't around sadly in 2008. right now is it virginia,
virginia, virginia? >> i think virginia is one of the key states most in play. north carolina seems sorry, guys, to be slipping away. virginia is still -- virginia still is neck and neck. you have tim kaine who is running for senate which is a very high-profile cincinnati race that's going to have an impact, i think, on the top of the ticket against george allen who used to be the senator there. >> the real south virginia -- like the rest of the south. then you get the northern virginia which is almost the northern part of the country. it is all -- commuters and suburbanites. lot of single women. lot of single women who are pro-choice. lot of that going on. >> okay, now in 2008, the obama campaign boldly went into virginia. partly because tim kaine was the first democratic governor, first governor, to endorse the president. to endorse president obama. the obama campaign did a massive organizational effort in virginia, including putting organize offices in parts of
rural virginia, or near rural virginia, where no modern democrat had ever tried on get votes before. it forced the republicans on the defensive in virginia. now, the obama campaign has that same kind of organizing effort going. i don't think that they are going to get all those white voters in rural virginia. which means that if they are going to win, they got to win even bigger in the washington, d.c., suburbs. that's what the speakers tonight are aimed at. the women and hispanic. >> i'm with them on that. single women who may not vote all the time and have to vote this time. thank you, howard fineman. jim can help and his brother. when we return let me finish with the first lady and the rousing words we expect for her to deliver in a few hours tonight. welcome aboard! [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪
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we finish with this. michelle obama speaks here tonight. what a big moment it will be. there are people who root for this first lady, two out three of us. then want her to make it. they want her -- all to work out important her. why? because for most of us the former michelle robinson has done everything right. look at the kids she raised, two girls. sasha, malia. they seem like perfections. they are what we want in any first family, getting good education, being role models and deeply appreciate the honor they enjoyed living in the white house. the american presidency is not just a job. if it were we wouldn't give the president's family a house to
live in and wouldn't hold them up the way we do. the fact is, the way the founding fathers wanted it, being president is being head of state. personal symbol of the country. it is in this role i would argue that this family has been close enough to perfect. they have conducted themselves in a superlative manner and built in for parents first role, child rearing. will is no such thing as quality time. all the time you spend with your kids is good time. the more the better. if the president spent too little time hanging out with other politicians, criticism, i offered, i know that the pressure has come from his spouse. he be there with her, when the two daughters have been there being daughters, teenage girls, that need their daddy to watch him, learn from him, and feel his presence and love. tonight we get to hear from michelle obama herself. get to hear from the first lady herself, the values that lead and enhanced the history of the white house with their exceptional presence. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. i will be